Toner D'Oudairis is bred for chasing so Gordon Elliott has done well to get two races over hurdles out of him. His narrow defeat by Attaglance in the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham shows him to be a tough character and he is an interesting recruit to the bigger obstacles.. BENEFFICIENT gained a shock victory in a Grade 1 novice hurdle at Leopardstown in February and made an encouraging start over fences when runner-up to Miradene at Listowel in September. That was over 2m1f and with today's trip much more likely to suit he's the one to be on. El Fontan has been a bit of a disappointment after a bright start to his chasing career but Johannisberger looks a real threat. Noel Meade's charge, an easy winner of a maiden hurdle at Roscommon in August, has come up against very useful performers in his races to date over fences and it will be a surprise if he's not involved in the finish.
As De Pique (IRE) 10-1 (11-7) Prominent, ridden in 3rd over 3f out, no extra in 4th approaching 2f out, kept on same pace, 5th of 11, 20l behind Aranhill Chief (11-7) at Bellewstown 2m 1f N H flat in Aug.
Benefficient (IRE) 7-4fav (11-12) Led, clear early, joined 4 out and not as quicker winner or at next, struggling in 2nd before straight, hit 2 out, closed but not quite get to winner closing stages, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Miradane (11-10) at Listowel 2m 1f beg chs hvy in Sep.
Doctor Deejay (IRE) 33-1 (11-7) Chased leaders, 8th halfway, ridden in 6th and in touch approaching 4 out, no extra from 3 out, 5th of 16, well behind Farrells Fancy (11-12) at Thurles 2m 6f beg chs in Oct.
El Fontan (FR) 13-2 (11-10) Prominent in chasing group, closed 3 out, challenged and slightly hampered 2 out, kept on same pace under pressure run-in, 3rd of 16, 1 1/4l behind Acriveen (10-7) at Fairyhouse 2m hcp hdl 8Evens16 in Oct.
Liszt (IRE) 4-1fav (10-3) Led, clear halfway, slightly reduced advantage after 4 out, ridden before 2 out, mistake last, tired run-in and headed close home, 2nd of 14, 3/4l behind Good Fella (11-11) at Navan 2m 4f hcp hdl 80-116 in Mar.
Lookoutnow (IRE) 25-1 (11-7) Held up towards rear, moderate 9th 3 out, ridden and no impression in 7th entering straight, kept on one pace, 6th of 16, 28l behind Sraid Padraig (11-12) at Limerick 2m 3f beg chs sft in Oct.
Soitoldyou (IRE) 16-1 (10-8) Led, disputed 6th, headed 5 out, ridden in 6th 3 out, soon no extra, 10th of 27, 29l behind Hidden Shamrock (11-2) at Navan 2m 7f hcp hdl 80-95 sft in Sep.
Whisky Galore 4-1 (11-5) 4th of 11, 15l behind Vic Chic (11-0) at Tipperary 2m 4f hcp hdl 80-95 hvy in Oct.
Johannisberger (IRE) 5-4fav (11-11) Led, headed after 5th, led again 5 out, disputed 3 out, ridden and challenged 2 out, headed approaching last, no extra and kept on same pace, 2nd of 15, 7l behind Argocat (10-13) at Limerick 2m 3f beg chs sft in Oct.
Merrydown Vintage (IRE) 33-1 (11-10) Always towards rear, tailed off, 15th of 16, well behind Farrells Fancy (11-12) at Thurles 2m 6f beg chs in Oct.
North Star Lad (IRE) 4-1 (11-10) Chased leaders, not jump well, pushed along towards rear 6 out, no extra from before straight, tailed off, 7th of 9, well behind Dushrembrandt (11-4) at Cork 3m nh nov hdl in Oct.
Toner D'Oudairies (FR) 7-1 (11-6) Settled behind leaders, 6th halfway, headway into 3rd entering straight, ridden in 4th and slight mistake 2 out, soon no extra, 7th of 8, 24l behind Get Me Out Of Here (11-3) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hdl G2 (1) gs in Apr.